When a concert hall in nearly filled with people and every single person is silent, listening to the music being played by one violin and a piano you know the music is outstand With every breath also matches the phrasing, that is the experience of the audience at the Holland Performing Arts Center in Omaha last Saturday with guest artist Itzak Perlman playing the violin and pianist Rohan de Silva.
As legendary musician, Vladamir Horowitz once stated, "It's the silence that matters, not the applause. Anyone can have applause. But the silence, before and during the performance, that is everything." This unquestionably described the evening.
Although Perlman is an obvious headline performer, Rohan de Silva is a phenomenal musician of world class quality. He has performed extensively and won the prestigious prize of Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition which was held in Moscow. His style is immaculately clean and precise while combining all the elements of excellent musicianship.
People even stifled their coughs and shuffling until the music stopped. What an unusual evening! The first part of the program was a duet playing Beethoven's Sonata No. 8 in G Major for Violin and Piano, Opus 30 Number 3 and Sonata in E-Flat Major for Violin and Piano, Opus 18 by Strauss. These pieces were perfectly performed by these two outstanding musician.
The second part of the program consisted of Debussy's Sonata in G Minor for Violin and Piano, L. 140. These selections were wonderful with the violin part singing while conversing with the fluidly smooth piano playing. (Rohan de Silva is extremely light on utilizing the sustaining pedal, but wonderfully expressive musically.)
All of these selections were true duets where the instruments conversed with each other matching in volume, difficulty, and musical interpretation.
For the encores, the performance perspective shifted with Perlman as the performer and de Silva as the outstanding accompanist. The encore selections were shorter selections that greatly varied in mood and temperament. Unquestionably the favored selection for the audience was "Hungarian Dance # 1" by Brahmns emphasizing the more melodic and minor tunes that are part of Perlman's identity. This showy selection obviously thrilled the audience. The other selections consisted of Fritz Kreisler's "Tempo di Minuettoin the Style of (Gaetano) Paganini which is majestic, the beautifully mellow selection by Gabriel Faure "Apres un Reve" (After a Dream) which was arranged for the great Pablo Casals' and transcribed for the violin, and ending in the fiery "La Ronde Des Lutin (Dance of the Goblins)" by Antonio Bazzini.
The night with Itzek Perlman proved the master's brilliance with his violin as well as introducing this audience to the wonderful pianist, Rohan de Silva.